Invitation from the Conference Planning Committee

The Darwin based Conference Planning Committee (CPC) looks forward to welcoming the 2021 Speech Pathology Australia virtual national conference.

Our conference theme is Local Contexts, Global Practicand you will see this theme reflected throughout the conference program. The theme was selected to support speech pathologists’ thinking and talking about their local work contexts as well as the broader global practices we may engage in. We hope participants will use this time together to consider how the profession might advocate for and move towards culturally responsive and evidence-based practices that promote collaboration, multiculturalism, multilingualism, equitable service provision and communication rights locally and globally.

The 2021 CPC hope that this conference will engage you and prompt you to consider your work, as it relates to the theme, and the aspirations outlined in Speech Pathology Australia 2030:

  • Communication accessible communities
  • Access for all
  • Timely services across the lifespan
  • Clients and communities driving service delivery
  • Skilled and confident families and carers
  • Collaborative professional partnerships
  • Quality services, innovation and continual pursuit of knowledge
  • Diverse and dynamic workforce

The conference program includes a variety of high-quality presentations many of which address the theme of  Local Contexts, Global Practic. The CPC were delighted to receive such a high number of excellent submissions which enabled us to create such a varied program. We are delighted to be able to hear from our keynote and invited speakers. On Monday morning, the conference will kick off with a keynote by Professor Yvette Hyter “Engaging in culturally responsive and globally sustainable practices.” On Tuesday morning Associate Professor Sally Hewat will challenge us all to think about the future of the speech pathology profession given this current time of technological and global transformations in her Elizabeth Usher Memorial Lecture titled “Speech pathology in the transformative age: Are we still relevant?” Wednesday morning Professor Swathi Kiran will talk about brain plasticity and language rehabilitation in her keynote address “Understanding, facilitating and predicting aphasia recovery and after rehabilitation.”

To close our sessions on Monday, we have invited Melanie Mununggurr-Williams to provide her thoughts on Reconciliation: A Djapu, Autism Mum’s Perspective. Melanie is a Djapu mother, writer, poet and spoken word artist. She writes in both English and Dhuwal (Yolngu Matha dialect) about identity, family, current social issues. Melanie also uses her writing as a platform for raising awareness about autism. She often weaves Dhuwal throughout her writing as a way of decolonising literature and the arts. In 2019 Melanie travelled to six countries and performed at many festivals around Australia. Her first book of poetry for young adults is being released by Penguin later this year.

The conference program provides many opportunities for informal connection with local, national and international colleagues over our virtual platform in the chat rooms and at our social event.

The CPC encourages you to keep up to date with the latest news by monitoring the conference website. The CPC gratefully acknowledges and thanks the sponsors and exhibitors who are an integral part of the success of the conference.

On behalf of Speech Pathology Australia, the Darwin CPC looks forward to welcoming you to the Speech Pathology Australia virtual national conference.

Bea Staley (Convenor), Rebecca Amery (Scientific Program Chair), Franceska (Fran) Edis, Amanda O’Keefe, Edwina Pursehouse, Melissa (Melba) Ridd, Pamela Richards (National Conference Manager), Rebecca David (National Conference Assistant), Colleen Moloney (National Conference Assistant) and Cori Williams (Senior Advisor, Evidence Based Practice and Research).